I had sort of decided that three does and a buck was enough of a rabbitry for home consumption but then I stumbled across an advert for Rex bucks on Gumtree. The genetics of Rex rabbits are such that crossing a Rex with another breed means you don’t get Rex babies. You can see in last night’s pic of Trudy’s bunch that their coats are longer than hers already (they’re just about three and a half weeks and she’s teaching them by example to leave the cage!)
You could tap back into the recessive Rex gene by crossing the babies together or crossing them with a Rex, but getting a Rex buck to cross to Trudy would guarantee Rex babies. Some quick emailing and a phone call later, I was on my way to Cupar, south of Dundee, to choose a Rex buck.
This is Tigger, he’s one of a litter of 12 so there’s some good genes for litter size there! As you can see, he’s a harlequin rabbit (like his mother, though his father is a tricolour dalmation, with small harlequin spots on a white background; I saw both his parents as well as most of his littermates), so Trudy’s next litter should throw up some interesting patterns and colours!
He’s settling in well and seems very calm and friendly; he’s about 6 months old so will be ready to “work” when I wean Trudy’s litter. I’m going away in August for a week and don’t want to leave my daughter up to her ears in imminent litters or billions of weaned bunnies so I’m delaying re-mating Trudy for a couple more weeks. Jezebel will have a litter in the cage, though not quite weaned, when I’m away and Delilah will be in kindle but not due until the week after (hopefully!) so I’ll time Trudy’s next litter about the same. This litter should be ready for the freezer before we go away so the work-load shouldn’t be too high in my absence.